“I Take You,” by Eliza Kennedy
Publisher: Broadway Books; May 24, 2016
Synopsis: Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.
Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter, and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.
Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget.
Where shall I begin with “I Take You?” This book has gotten very mixed reviews, which I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I thought it was hilarious! Lily is absolutely her own person and does and says what she pleases. The book begins at her Bachelorette party the evening before they all head to Key West for her wedding (and Lily’s hometown). Lily is a successful lawyer and is marrying Will, a curator at a museum, who she’s only known for six months. Lily and Will head to Key West with Lily’s hilarious best friend Freddy not far behind with the other bridesmaid, grumpy Nicole. Once in Key West, we met Lily’s mother, two previous step-mothers, her Gran, and eventually her father. They’ve arrived a week before the wedding so the novel takes you through meeting the family, Lily interacting and working with the wedding planner (many LOL moments), the arrival of Will’s parents, and several drinking and sexual escapades in between. There’s also a bit of work weaved into the week due to Lily having to prepare a client for a deposition, which also leads to several laughs. The question remains throughout the novel, “will they get married or not?”
So I mentioned earlier that “I Take You” has gotten mixed reviews. I’ve seen reviews where the reader loved it, and I’ve seen quite a few where they hated it. I have to wonder if those who hated it even read the synopsis. This book is basically as it is described. There is a lot of drinking, some drugs, a lot of sex and cheating, and a lot of characters with a very warped sense of humor. Think “Sex in the City” on steroids where Carrie is undecided about getting married rather than Mr. Big being the flaky one. A major theme of Kennedy’s novel is the double-standard regarding men and women and sleeping around. Does Lily behave any worse than a man regarding sleeping with other people? Does she deserve the shame that comes along with a woman being the one who sleeps around? Yes, I am married and do not condone or support her behavior in this novel, and yes, there are cringe-worthy moments where you wonder what the hell is going through Lily’s mind. But as the novel nears the end, the reader finds out that not everyone is as honest and innocent as they seem, especially the hateful and unlikable Nicole. Are there moral flaws among her Dad, mother, and stepmothers? Yes, but they are also such an eclectic group of people! Lily is brilliant, outgoing, hilarious, and often immature but you can see that she is a product of this variety of people who had a hand in her upbringing.
The only subplot that I didn’t really understand was Teddy. That situation explained her moving from Key West to New York in the first place, but I wasn’t really sure what purpose he and his story contributed to the action of the novel. It felt as if he was initially supposed to be a bigger player in the novel, but as the novel progressed he became more of an afterthought. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I just didn’t much out of his place in the story. However, I did absolutely love Mattie, the wedding planner. Maybe it wasn’t so much Mattie but the dialogue between Lily and Mattie had me in tears at times! Yes, Lily is a drunken slut, but in a smart, sassy, and hilarious way, if that makes sense. I really enjoyed Eliza Kennedy’s debut novel and truly hope to read more from her in the near future!
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.